Exploring VMware Options

Michael Vizard

Following some recent controversial changes to the way VMware prices its software, a lot of IT organizations have begun to explore their options. That doesn't mean there is going to be a wholesale shift away from VMware, but it's clear that alternative virtual machine environments such as Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen and Red Hat KVM are gaining ground.

The challenge many of these alternatives face, however, is that the management tools for these environments, until recently, were not as robust as what could be had with VMware. But that too is changing.

For example, Convirture released today an Enterprise Cloud management platform for Xen and KVM environments that provides IT organizations using these open source virtual machines with a common management framework.


Convirture CEO Arsalan Farooq says that since VMware changed its pricing, interest in open source virtual machine platforms has spiked. But customers need sophisticated management tools such as Enterprise Cloud to automate the deployment and provisioning of these virtual machines. Convirture already offers an open source version of its management platform. Enterprise Cloud, the company's second commercial offering, is designed to give IT organizations a more holistic view of the entire data center, while also providing a way for IT organizations to provide users with some self-service capabilities. In addition, Enterprise Cloud also supports Amazon EC2 environments, which means that IT organizations can use Enterprise Cloud to manage both a public cloud and hybrid cloud computing environments that span Amazon and on-premise private clouds.

There's no doubt that the virtual machine landscape is getting more diverse with each passing day. As virtual machine software becomes standard operating procedure in the data center, many IT organizations are looking to rein in their costs. In a lot of cases, that means more reliance on open source software or Microsoft Hyper-V software that comes bundled with Windows Server 2008 Release 2. In any of these cases, IT organizations are going to be looking for tools that ultimately simplify the management of virtual machine environments as both the number and type of virtual machines in the enterprise continues to proliferate.

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Aug 24, 2011 10:26 AM Wendy Wendy  says:

Hi Mike- I like your take on the VMware pricing debacle and how it will open the hypervisor market to alternatives.  We agree that it's time to diversify.  Some apps need VMware, and some don't, so why pay the premium?  As far as management platforms, Abiquo has been managing VMware, Xen, Xenserver, KVM, Oracle and Hyper-V Simultaneously through a single pane of glass for over a year now.  I also know other platforms, like eucalyptus, nimbula, etc, have managed the open source stuff for sometime- so this new player seems to have a tough road ahead if that's their differentiation. I think your story would have been more complete to tie all these players to the impact of the pricing shift, not just this player.

Aug 26, 2011 2:56 AM Steve Steve  says:

Convirture was founded in 2006. ConVirt is included in multiple Linux distros and has a long history with both its open source and enterprise versions in customer settings. It's great that there is so much competition in open source. I'm sure the author of this article will write about the other players when they produce products worthy of consideration.


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